Thursday, 5 July 2012

Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide

I came across this book awhile ago due to my convention going and attending an Japanese inspired horror panel which was both fun, silly and informative. So instead of doing reviews on movies I've seen recently or Lollipop Chainsaw I decided to do one on this fun book.

It's always interesting to compare different parts of the world's cultures to one another and see how different things are. Super natural and the occult are no different, it could spout from which religion is most dominate in a country or the lifestyle and history of a county.

I mean our UK history is very different, we have so many medieval castles seeped in spooky stories, stories of being taken over by the devil, the hounds of baskervile, the legend of bodmin moore.. and then Scotland's lockness monster. Mexico has it's Chupacabra and theres so much more in every corner and crack of the globe.

So it really is cool to find out about other places folklore's and supernatural and I have to admit Japan has some awesome ones.  The way they live their lives and what they believe in is very heavily hinted in their supernatural tales such as unclean bathrooms bringing monsters.

Also the taboo subject of the repression of woman in the nation. Many movies have shown this SHUTTER, RING, JU-ON and DARK WATER along with many others. There is a reason why alot of these horror stories are based on an angry female spirit.

There are alot of female based ghouls in the Japanese folktales and this book goes into the old, the gross and the mighty fine.

So on to the book!

While informing us of the demons and nasties it has a very comical approach to things and a light hearted read about things that might otherwise be pretty creepy to the average viewer. Now YOKAI is what they call these spirits like we call things.. ghosts.

The book isn't hefty but has alot of different monsters in it and in sections. One which will focus on silly spirits such as a 'Mokumoku Ren' which is simply a paper wall with eyes on it then the more well known ones such as Onibaba and Kappa's and as I said..  a whole section on angry woman spirits such as a jealous woman who would drown those she saw in a happy relationship... woman.. pft.

The pages are set out like fact files which are interesting and gets to the basics, their Japanese name, what it means, what it basically is. I mean there is an invisible wall for a bad spirit in one section, it has some crazy things in it!

After the fact page it goes into more depth of the nasty. Each creature gets about three pages on it so it's not just a skimming read on the spirit but a pretty good story telling piece. Back stories, history and some more.

Each one has a picture, some are nicer to look at then others and some pictures look abit armature and blah but if your not a fussy art person [X-men comics have spoilt me for good art..] then you won't mind at all.

Now along with the silly ghosts and funny laid back style of the book along side some rather goofy pictures you will get a taste of Japanese culture and why some of these things come to be. Also some of these spirts sound messed up and make me feel glad to not be in Japan!

My only real moan about this book is 95% of it is in colour for me and then the last few ghosts it was like their budget for colour ran out and they just gave up on it.. or maybe that's just my copy? either way it's a very sloppy end to an other wise awesome little piece and view into another worlds supernatural realms.

It really is nice seeing how different other peoples darker worlds are. I would love to do more reading on Yokai's and see what other cultures have to offer me!

The book retails brand new for  £10 I think it was which isn't bad! and if you want another look into this book they have an official website here. YOKAI ATTACK!

Info: 4.5/5
Length: 3.5/5
Art: 2.5/5
Scares: 0/5
Overall read: 5/5


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